WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force awarded Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) a $574.5 million contract to maintain ground-based radar sensors used for missile warning and space surveillance.

The Pentagon announced the contract Aug. 29. 

SAIC, based in Reston, Virginia, was awarded a seven-year contract. The Space Systems Command said four competitive bids were received for this project.

Worldwide network of radar sensors

The Space Force operates a network of early warning radar sensors that are used to detect missile threats and to track objects in outer space. They include radar sites at Pituffik Space Base in Greenland; Clear Space Force Station, Alaska; Royal Air Force Fylingdales, United Kingdom; Beale Air Force Base, California; Cape Cod Space Force Station, Massachusetts; and Cavalier Space Force Station, North Dakota.

The U.S. Air Force designed and  built these sites during the Cold War primarily to detect and track intercontinental ballistic missiles and sea-launched ballistic missiles while also conducting general space surveillance and satellite tracking.  

The contract awarded to SAIC was previously held by Northrop Grumman which won a five-year contract in 2018.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...